Originally published on Thought Catalog.
You know all those aspirations and ideas you have? The ones you’ve always wanted to act upon but never seem to have the time for? I started doing them.
…when I stopped watching Netflix.
Deep breath. I know this is radical but think about it. The true craziness is how accepted binge watching has become. A typical overheard weekend conversation might go like this:
“Want to go out tonight?”
“Nah, I think I’ll stay in and watch Netflix.”
It’s not even considered weird to pass on a night out in favor of your bed and the screen! Your friends might start to wonder if that sounds like a better alternative for them too.
Why hang out with real people when you can spend hours ~Netflix and chillin’~ with your favorite characters?
Like many of us, I became addicted to watching my favorite shows at all times of day. Whether curling my hair or just laying on the couch, that red screen was always there to keep me company.
A health scare made me realize just how much time I was spending sitting on my ass, alone, staring at a screen. I had one of those AHA! life’s too short moments and decided to stop watching Netflix for a week. You can do anything for 7 days right?
The hard part wasn’t even that I missed watching shows. It was that I had more hours in my day that I knew what to do with.
I started acting on the ideas I’d contemplated but never accomplished. I worked on improving my writing and was able to finally set up the website I’d been thinking about for over a year. Working out with consistency and practicing meditation became a part of my daily routine.
The best part was becoming present enough to connect with the people around me. I now notice more; eye color, a gorgeous day, or even how great my lunch tastes. I’ve laughed and smiled more in the past few weeks than I have in a long time. Those 7 days have turned into a month. I’ve watched a few movies with friends and family, but as far as Netflix goes, we’re broken up.
Not ready to go cold-turkey?
Then be intentional about what you watch. Make it a point to watch one episode, instead of you know, five or more. Get up and do something afterward so you can’t keep watching. Notice how you feel watching for less time.
Maybe try to limit shows to the weekend. Monday through Friday always get packed with task and to-dos. You’ll be more productive and sleep better if you make Netflix a non-option during the week.
And lastly, take the 7-day challenge. Go without it for a week and see for yourself! It’s not forever, but become aware of how you’re spending your time. When you do start watching again, you might even find yourself bored.
See the original post here.